Female Congressional Hopeful Drops Out After 2005 Sexual Misconduct Claims Resurface
A female congressional hopeful in Kansas has dropped out of the House race after sexual harassment claims made in a 2005 lawsuit recently resurfaced.
Andrea Ramsey was running for her state's 3rd District congressional seat in a bid to unseat politically vulnerable Republican Kevin Yoder.
Ramsey, a former area business executive, left the race while defending herself against the allegations in the suit by her former employee, which she called "lies."
"Let me be clear: I never engaged in any of the alleged behavior. And the due process that I love, that drew me to the field of law, is totally denied," Ramsey wrote in a defiant Facebook post explaining the decision.
The suit was filed against Ramsey's company, though not her personally, by the employee she claims became "disgruntled" after his position was eliminated.
The suit claimed the former employee suffered “unwelcome and inappropriate sexual comments and innuendos."
The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission closed its investigation into the complaint in 2005 because it was “unable to conclude that the information obtained establishes violations of the statutes.”
Ramsey was not charged directly in the lawsuit but was named in that complaint. The suit was settled by the company in mediation in 2006.
In her announcement, Ramsey partially blamed the national Democratic party for the decision.
"In its rush to claim the high ground in our roiling national conversation about harassment, the Democratic Party has implemented a zero tolerance standard," Ramsey wrote. "As a first-time candidate, I am disappointed and disillusioned by the political process."
That "roiling" conversation, as Ramsey put it, has claimed the careers of men almost exclusively, making hers a rare case.
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesperson Meredith Kelly made no claims for or against Ramsey in a statement to the Washington Post.
Members and candidates must all be held to the highest standard,” Kelly said in an emailed statement. "If anyone is guilty of sexual harassment or sexual assault, that person should not hold public office."